Dating can be a wild journey, filled with excitement but also with its fair share of ups and downs.
But what if the person you’re falling for isn’t who they appear to be? What if they’re a “love bomber”?
If you’re wondering, love bombing is when someone showers you with affection and attention, but it’s all for selfish reasons. It’s like being caught in a whirlwind romance that quickly turns sour.
Not exactly the fairy tale love story you had in mind, right?
So, how can you tell if someone is love bombing you? Here are 10 red flags that you’ve attracted a love bomber.
1. They’re moving too fast
Love bombers will often try to escalate the relationship at a super-fast pace.
They may be saying ‘I love you’ just a few dates in, or talking about moving in together within a few weeks of knowing you.
While it’s nice to be adored, real love takes time to develop.
If your new partner is rushing things, it may be a sign they’re trying to control and manipulate the relationship, rather than letting it naturally evolve.
2. Overwhelming affection
Love bombers will drown you in affection and attention.
They’ll shower you with compliments, gifts, messages, and calls all day long.
While it might feel good initially, it can quickly become too much.
Healthy relationships have balance, space for personal growth, and respect for each other’s time.
3. They’re too good to be true
I remember when I first met Jake.
He was charming, funny, and seemed to be everything I was looking for.
We shared the same interests, he was incredibly attentive and would always say the right things.
But after a while, it felt like he was mirroring me rather than being his own person.
It became clear that Jake was simply reflecting my likes and dislikes, agreeing with my opinions on everything, and not really showing his own personality.
It felt like he was trying to create a perfect image of himself that matched exactly what I wanted in a partner.
This could be another sign of love bombing – when someone morphs into your ideal partner rather than being genuine about who they really are.
The thing is that real people have flaws and disagreements are normal in a healthy relationship. If you find yourself with a ‘perfect’ partner who agrees with you on absolutely everything, take a step back.
4. They isolate you from others
Love bombers often try to isolate their partners from friends and family.
Because it’s easier to control and manipulate someone when they’re cut off from their support network.
If your partner constantly insists on spending time alone with you, gets upset when you want to hang out with your friends, or subtly discourages you from spending time with your family, these could be signs of love bombing.
In a healthy relationship, both partners should have the freedom to maintain their individual social circles.
5. They play with your emotions
Love bombers are masters of emotional manipulation.
They know just how to make you feel like you’re on top of the world, only to knock you down again.
It’s a rollercoaster ride that’s designed to keep you off-balance and dependent on them for your emotional wellbeing.
You deserve better.
You deserve someone who lifts you up and stays by your side, not someone who delights in taking you on an emotional seesaw.
Love isn’t about constant highs and lows; it’s about feeling secure and cherished for who you are.
6. They’re always the victim
Let me share an experience I had with a past partner, Sam.
Every time we had a disagreement, somehow it would always end up being about how he was the victim.
If I expressed that something was bothering me, he’d twist it around to make it seem like I was the one hurting him.
It seemed like he was never in the wrong and always had a sob story to justify his actions.
This is a classic tactic love bombers use; they portray themselves as victims to manipulate your feelings and gain sympathy.
The truth is, in a healthy relationship, both partners should be able to accept responsibility for their actions and not always play the victim card.
7. They make you feel guilty for everything
This one’s tough to talk about, but it’s important.
Love bombers have a knack for making you feel guilty even when you’ve done nothing wrong.
If you want to spend time with your friends, they make you feel bad about leaving them alone.
If you don’t respond to their message immediately, they accuse you of not caring about them.
This guilt-tripping is a manipulative tool designed to control your actions and keep you close.
It’s a heavy cloak of guilt that they drape over your shoulders until it weighs you down.
Here’s the thing: this isn’t love, it’s control.
Love lifts you up; it doesn’t chain you down with guilt and manipulation.
8. They’re excessively jealous
Did you know that excessive jealousy is often used as a weapon by love bombers?
Sure, a little bit of jealousy in a relationship can be normal.
But when it gets to the point where your partner gets upset whenever you talk to someone else, or if they constantly accuse you of flirting or being unfaithful without reason, that’s a red flag.
This kind of extreme jealousy isn’t about love; it’s about control and insecurity. It’s important to remember that trust is the backbone of any healthy relationship.
9. They’re overly sensitive to criticism
Once, I dated someone who couldn’t handle any form of criticism, no matter how gently it was delivered.
If I mentioned something small that bothered me, like forgetting to pick up groceries, they would get extremely defensive or turn it back on me.
This kind of reaction is common with love bombers.
Being unable to accept constructive criticism, or turning it into a big fight, is a way for them to avoid responsibility and make you feel like you’re the one in the wrong.
In a healthy relationship, both parties should be able to discuss issues or concerns without it turning into a major conflict.
10. They threaten self-harm when you try to leave
This is a tough one, but it needs to be said.
Sometimes, love bombers will go to extreme lengths to keep you from leaving them, including threatening self-harm or even suicide.
They may say things like, “I can’t live without you,” or “I don’t know what I’d do if you left me.”
It’s a desperate and manipulative tactic designed to make you feel guilty and stay in the relationship.
Here’s the thing: This is not your burden to bear. You are not responsible for another person’s happiness or well-being.
If your partner threatens self-harm, reach out to their family, friends, or mental health professionals who can provide the help they need.
But don’t let their threats manipulate you into staying in an unhealthy relationship.
You deserve a love that is respectful and freeing, not one that holds you hostage.